First up, lets remind ourselves what the Secretary of State Chris Grayling said to all staff in that letter of his last week:-
I understand that some of you will be worried about the impact the implementation process will potentially have on your day job. I would like to assure you that public safety remains our top priority and the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme, working with colleagues in NOMS, will support Trusts with the transition process to minimise the impact on operational delivery.
What the hell does that reference to a 'day job' mean FFS?!
No hint from the new bosses of NPS and CRC in London that staff just might be a bit concerned or distressed about what's happening, just platitudinous crap:-
We are committed to working together to ensure that the transition to the National Probation Service and the London Community Rehabilitation Company is as smooth and safe as possible and we will be relying on your insight and knowledge to help achieve this. Achieving this transition safely in London is a major challenge which has significance for Probation as a whole and it will be vital that we set up clear arrangements for how the two organisations will interact.
Like you, we are concerned to make sure that we continue to provide excellent services to victims, courts and service users and that we maintain and develop partnerships with other agencies. You are the experts on what you will need in order to carry out your jobs effectively in the new structures and we are keen to listen to your questions and suggestions.
Some Trust bosses are so out of touch with reality they think a 'twitterthon' might be just what's needed to take peoples mind off things:-
TRAFFORD Probation Service is taking part in a 24-hour Twitterthon, in which staff will constantly update followers about its role.
Staff at the probation office, on Newton Street, Old Trafford, supervise offenders on community sentences as well as prisoners on licence from prison.
The trust aims to increase public safety by holding offenders to account for their actions, while also supporting their rehabilitation.
Tim Kyle, assistant chief executive, said: “It is easy to overlook the work of probation because the service only really grabs media headlines when things go wrong.
“That is why I am delighted that staff from across the trust is participating in a Twitterthon that is aimed at raising awareness about our work."
I think this piece from Mark Darby, inventor of Pam, takes the biscuit for sheer bollocks though:-
"This week I’m doing some work on the CRC start up and in particular planning the merger work for those Trusts who want to use pam to help them merge and change successfully. Its an exciting time with most of the new chiefs now appointed and starting to look ahead to the next phase in the life of probation services.
For those not familiar, 21 CRCs (Community Rehabilitation Companies) will emerge in April from 35 existing probation trusts, as part of the Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) programme. pam was also used to help some of the original 42 probation boards merge and transform into 35 probation trusts so we have good experience here. It is currently used to help numerous trusts with their exit plans and key milestone management in addition to being used for much of the day job beyond change management itself.
In thinking about how to structure the merger environment, I typically put myself in the shoes of the leaders our pam service will be supporting as they physically go through the merge and transition. A key issue for me (and therefore them) to meet the goals is going to be winning back the hearts and minds of a probation workforce that has been poorly treated in the change to date.
It’s fair to say that NOMS and MoJ has not had the most successful of communications campaigns around TR to date and it is going to be top of my mind to change that. So how do I merge 2 or 3 probation trusts successfully, get it ready for sale 6-8 months later to maximise taxpayers RoI (better than the post office sell-off), and still deliver a great service on the way for a greater number of users? In addition I’ve got other local stakeholders like partners and the Police & Crime Commissioner to consider. It’s one thing having letters delayed by unhappy posties but clearly public protection of offenders and support for victims cannot be put at risk! It is a tall order but doable if we plan well and get things right quickly in delivery.CRC’s only have a short life before they get sold. I as a chief will therefore have limited opportunity to make change beyond NOMS and MoJ constraints as it will affect the sale specification. But I will clearly seek some freedom in doing things my way too as that is what leaders do. I and my employees within the CRC also still have responsibilities, ambitions and values to consider too, as do our partners. Most of the team are probation professionals who have no desire to change careers either. So it set me thinking………"
In order to help your thinking Mark, here's some recent contributions from readers for you to mull over:-
I don`t want any part of this new arrangement, whether NPS or CRC. I`ve simply had enough and want/need out. I know of a number of colleagues saying the same thing. I don`t need an enhanced package, just enough to get by on. But I have younger (and probably more able and useful) colleagues who are blown to bits by the uncertainty and some have eloquently stated that here.
They`re going make swathes of staff redundant before long, probably in both bits. Why not just see who wants out on standard terms now and give more of those with mouths to feed and futures to live a better chance of at least having a job.
Today a really hard working colleague collapsed at work in considerable distress about his /her circumstances (sorry but I don't want to identify their gender) and I fear will not be at work for some time. As a sole parent with children to support, the fear and anxiety created by Grayling's dreadful mess has simply become too much to bear.This person has an excellent sickness record but sees their future having been removed and can no longer cope with what we all know is a demanding job. Shame on this government, collectively and wholly.
This is so sad but I fear will be all too common. I do hope your colleague has a good support network to help them through. This is criminal. One of my colleagues aged 48 has had a heart attack. I'm starting to wonder if Grayling is just trying to kill us all off.
Here we go again, the last 3 sleepless hours before another week of joy thanks to noms, moj and grayling.
If I am Palestinian I may not be able to work for G4S because of their involvement with the detention of political prisoners in the Middle East.
If I am African I may not be able to work for either Serco or G4S because of my belief that they are involved in human rights abuses in South Africa.
The same if I'm Austrailian.
If I champion Animal Welfare I cannot work for a company that is responsible for clinical trials on animals.
If I champion environmental causes then I couldn't work for a company involved in destroying our rain forests.
If I am anti-war I cannot work for a company involved in the supply of arms.
These are diverse issues and as such raise issues of diversity. I have a right to hold ethics, and the freedom to stand proud against whatever wrong I believe exists in the world.
I am state employed not state owned and as such retain the right to make free choices.
To be asked to accept employment from an unknown employer takes my choices away, refuses to acknowledge issues of my diversity, and leaves me concerned about political, religious, moral and ethical abuses I may be faced with when I meet my new employer.
My EOI letter I sent back and noted on it my situation and confusion. I note that the last sentence (right before my signature) said that I am not guaranteed a job in either NPS or CRC. So I have a 6 month baby boy to care for, it's Christmas, and I have no notion of whether I will have an income post April 2014. I was going to post this anonymously but, that just makes me a wispy figure that government can tell itself may not really exist. Well I do exist, my concerns are genuine. My baby son is real and I am really frightened about the future. I feel drained by this. This has been an appalling way to treat loyal and hard working staff in my opinion. My motivation to rejoin probation is rock bottom currently. This is the real human cost of TR.